USA: Boston Beer adds new product lines to its hard seltzer success

Boston Beer Company is continuing its success with a third line of seltzer products to be rolled out nationwide next year. Truly Iced Tea Hard Seltzer is aimed to replicate the success of Truly Hard Seltzer and Truly Lemonade Hard Seltzer which have set benchmarks in the industry. In addition, the company’s is currently running a market test in New York with Truly Extra Hard Seltzer a hard seltzer which has 8 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) instead of the usual 5 percent.

Truly Hard Seltzer and market leader White Claw from Mark Anthony Brands, were both introduced in 2016, and started the success of the new category of hard seltzers. Truly Hard Seltzer is a drink containing carbonated water, 5 percent ABV with alcohol made from cane sugar, fruit flavorings and just 1g sugar. Therefore the drink has just 100 calories and appeals mainly to health conscious people who seek a gluten free option to other alcoholic drinks and who do not want refrain from drinking alcohol. Truly Hard Seltzer is available in 12 different styles.

Truly Lemonade Hard Seltzer, hit the shelves in January 2020 and “is a mix of hard seltzer and lemonade made with real lemon juice delivering the crisp, clean taste of hard seltzer and bolder lemonade flavor.” Truly Lemonade has just 1 gram of sugar and 100 calories. “Compared to current in-market hard lemonades that carry more than 30 grams of sugar and 220 calories per 12 oz serving, Truly Lemonade has a fraction of the sugar and calories without sacrificing any flavor,” the company said in a media release in January. The new variety is available in four styles, namely Original Lemonade, Black Cherry Lemonade, Mango Lemonade and Strawberry Lemonade.

“The growth of the Truly brand, led by Truly Hard Lemonade, has accelerated and continues to grow beyond our expectations.  Since early January, Truly has grown its velocity and its market share sequentially while other national, regional and local hard seltzer brands have entered the category. Truly is the only hard seltzer, not introduced earlier this year, to grow its share during 2020,” Dave Burwick, the Boston Beer's President and CEO stated in a press release for the presentation of the second quarter results in July.

Despite the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown, Boston Beer recorded revenues for the second quarter which were up 42 percent from the same period last year and sales of nearly USD 1.5 billion for the 12 months through June 27.

The surge in the share price of Boston Beer of more than 120% from the beginning of this year until July 24, helped its founder, Jim Koch to enter the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest people in the United States. Koch started the business in 1984 and still holds 26% of the stock.

It’s worthwhile to note that at the same time, Julio Mario Santo Domingo, III., dropped out of the list, because his shares in AB InBev fell in the same period by 35 percent. Domingo inherited his wealth from his late grandfather, who sold family brewer Bavaria from Colombia to SABMiller in 2006 in exchange for shares. In 2016, AB InBev acquired SABMiller for USD 100 billion again in exchange for shares of the world’s largest brewer, thus making the New York disc jockey one of the richest men in the United States.

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